At Daddy Analytics, we call a lot of people, partly because our app does such a great job generating leads and revealing who our anonymous visitors are and creating Leads from them in Salesforce. (OK, enough of the shameless plug).
As we added staff we wanted a phone system that integrated beautifully with Salesforce, and we looked around and demo’d different solutions. The one we finally selected was FastCall + Twilio, and we are amazed at how well, how beautifully, and how simply it all works.
What amazes me is that, had I asked for the system we now have some 10 years ago, or even 5 years ago, I think the price tag would have been in the thousands, perhaps tens of thousands. But instead we’re paying $20 per user per month to FastCall, and we’re paying line and per-minute charges to Twilio. Practically pennies.
When FastCall + Twilio is properly setup system, you simply click the little phone icon next to your Lead or Contact’s phone number while wearing a headset on your computer. A call is started to that person, and your call recording is also started. You speak to them, and when hanging up you even get to chose to categorize the call. For instance, you can Leave Message (VM), Leave Message in Person, Spoke to Lead, etc.
Upon hanging up, a new task is created, and best of all the recording of the call is saved on Twilio’s servers and is available with a single click. For people with flaky memories as myself, I never have to take long notes – a quick review of the call is enough to jog my memory. Of course, I can take notes, but I figure in a year they will have text transcription with this app.
While I use my headset as I prefer that, FastCall can also dial your mobile or landline if you prefer, and when you pickup, they start calling the other party.
A nice feature is that we get 5 caller-ID numbers to dial out from, which is handy, as it never hurts to look like you’re calling from California, or NY, if your prospect is in California or NY. Or London for that matter.
Some caveats – the setup can be complicated because you’re really setting up FastCall AND Twilio AND learning how to use and configure Twilio for the first time. I tried to do it myself, and managed to succeed after some frustration, but wish I had stumped up the paid setup option from FastCall. That said, this was still probably 10 times easier than setting up a local PBX from Avaya or something. And a wee bit cheaper.
We did look at other systems too. Synety seemed nice, though we didn’t go further than a quick demo install that encountered a hitch. Natterbox was comically inept at their sales, because when I called their number listed on their website it was redirected to a former employee’s mobile (oops). Their product might be amazing, but I never found out. And New Voice Media supposedly does some impressive things but they are target clients much bigger than startup like ourselves (they do great with giant call centers).